RM600,000 for resettlers from Sarawak Energy

Posted on : 22 Jan 2019  Source of News: The Borneo Post

Abdul Hamed (left) presents the cheque for educational initiatives to Masing while Abang Johari (centre) and others look on. — Photo by Muhammad Rais Sanusi

KUCHING: Sarawak Energy is allocating a total of RM600,000 educational incentives for the resettled communities of Bakun, Murum and Batang Ai through the Bakun Charitable Trust this year.

The state-owned energy development group will be providing an additional RM200,000 to the revolving fund to be placed under the care of the Trust to help meet the specific educational needs of the Bakun Resettlement Scheme.

It currently provides RM200,000 each for the resettled communities of Batang Ai and Murum on an annual basis.

This new social investment, which follows the acquisition of Bakun hydropower plant operator Sarawak Hidro from the Ministry of Finance in 2017, was marked yesterday with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Sarawak Energy and the Bakun Charitable Trust which was witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg at a leading hotel here.

At the same event, Sarawak Energy also presented cheques of RM200,000 each for the Batang Ai Education Fund and the Belaga Penan Education Fund.

Sarawak Energy Group chief executive officer Datu Sharbini Suhaili and executive vice president for Corporate Services Aisah Eden signed on behalf of Sarawak Energy while Bakun Charitable Trust was represented by its chairman Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr James Jemut Masing, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, and Murum assemblyman Kennedy Chukpai Ugon.

Sarawak Energy chairman Datuk Amar Abdul Hamed Sepawi said the fund will be used for academic incentives, further training and education, and any other educational development or facilities deemed necessary.

“The beneficiaries of this fund are the 15 resettled longhouses from the Kayan, Kenyah, Kajang and Penan communities.

“As these are socially more advanced communities that were resettled in the area over 20 years ago, we believe that even more students will be able to pursue their education without worrying about financial issues through this educational incentive programme,” he said, adding that this is the fourth year that Sarawak Energy is contributing to the Belaga Penan Education Fund and second year to the Batang Ai Education Fund.

He pointed out that since the Bakun Charitable Trust was established in 2015, there has been a significant increase in school attendance and academic improvement among the target group of students.

“A total of 45 youths have enrolled for tertiary education and skills training; and 29 have graduated. They are now employed in various industries both in the state and in Peninsular Malaysia, with some opting to further their studies.”

He added that the fund was extended to the Batang Ai community in 2017 and currently 48 students from the community are pursuing higher education under this fund.

Also present at the ceremony were Utilities Minister Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom, Assistant Minister of Rural Electricity Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi, Assistant Minister of Water Supply Datuk Liwan Lagang, Assistant Minister of Industries and Investment Malcolm Mussen Lamoh and Hulu Rajang MP Datuk Wilson Ugak Kumbong.